BBB ransomware

Ransomware gang BianLian yesterday claimed responsibility for a cyber attack against the Better Business Bureau’s Arizona office. The BBB has not verified the claim or confirmed that an attack took place as of time of writing.

BianLian claims to have stolen accounting, budget, and financial data; contract data and NDAs; files from the chief financial officer’s PC; operational and business files, emails, and Outlook archives (.pst files).

BianLian’s claim, posted to its leak site, says, “This company is far from being a simple non-profit organization, and far from being innocent. Data of this company will become available soon. Contact us if you want to get it, or if you want to protect it.”

This is a developing story. Comparitech contacted the BBB for comment and will update this article if it responds.

Who is BianLian?

First appearing in late 2021, BianLian has been confirmed as the group behind 46 ransomware attacks, according to our data. Its targets span the government, healthcare, and education sectors, including Save the Children, Air Canada, and Australia’s critical infrastructure. Its attacks affected 1.65 million individual records.

BianLian used to extort victims twice, demanding one ransom in exchange for a decryption key to restore systems, and a second ransom for not selling or publicly releasing stolen data. However, the FBI has stated that, like many other ransomware groups, BianLian has stopped encrypting systems and now solely extorts victims for stolen data.

We further logged 71 unconfirmed attacks claimed by BianLian.

Ransomware attacks on US businesses

So far this year we’ve tracked 107 confirmed ransomware attacks on US businesses, affecting 18,983,509 records. The average ransom across these attacks was $2.9 million.

BianLian is confirmed as the group behind six of these attacks. Its biggest attack was against finance company On Q Financial, which affected 211,650 records.

We’ve also logged 803 unconfirmed attacks on US businesses this year so far. BianLian has claimed 48 of these.

About the BBB

The Better Business Bureau is a nonprofit organization consisting of 92 independently contracted bureaus in the US and Canada. Nearly 400,000 businesses are accredited with the BBB, which assigns each company a letter grade based on the business’ behavior and adherance to the BBB code of business practices. The BBB also acts an intermediary to resolve customer complaints against businesses.